Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says a budget airline starting flights between Christchurch and Malaysia will create jobs in the city.
AirAsia X, based in Kuala Lumpur, is promising to undercut competitors' fares by up to half.
The airline will fly four times a week between Christchurch and Kuala Lumpur from April next year, and is also offering round trips to Paris for about $1000.
Tourism New Zealand estimates it will bring in about 30,000 new tourists a year, and Mr Parker says it will give the city a much-needed boost following a big earthquake in September.
Tourists from Europe and growing markets such as India are expected to use the new service, Mr Parker says.